The fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic has declined during three consecutive weeks, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said Tuesday.
Speaking at President López Obrador’s regular news conference, the coronavirus point man said that case numbers fell by over 40% during the past three weeks.
The most recent decline was 48%, “almost half [the number of cases] with respect to the previous week,” López-Gatell said.
“The incidence of new cases is now below what we reached in all the previous waves and is still going down,” he said.
The Health Ministry reported Monday that there were just under 92,000 estimated active cases – less than one-third the peak recorded during the current omicron-fueled wave.
López-Gatell said that hospital occupancy levels are also trending downward.
“The COVID units are emptying out,” he said, noting that the national occupancy rate for general care hospital beds and beds with ventilators is 30% and 22%, respectively.
Some of the beds were freed up because their occupants died. López-Gatell acknowledged that COVID fatalities were up last week compared to the previous seven-day period, but highlighted that the current death rate is 71% lower than the pandemic peak, recorded during the second wave in January 2021.
“As we have commented multiple times, approximately three weeks after cases start coming down, deaths go down,” he said.
According to that prediction, there should be fewer deaths this week than last. The highest single-day death tally of the fourth wave was recorded last Thursday with 927 COVID-related fatalities. More than 500 were recorded on Friday and Saturday, while just 146 and 122 were reported on Sunday and Monday, respectively.
Mexico’s official death toll rose to 312,965 on Monday, the world’s fifth highest total, while the accumulated case tally is just over 5.3 million, a figure considered a vast undercount due to the low testing rate.
López-Gatell told reporters that 90% of Mexicans aged 18 and over are vaccinated, while the rate among minors who have been offered shots– those aged 15 to 17 – is 52%. He also said that 68% of people aged 60 and over, and 36% of those aged 40 to 59, have had booster shots.
Mexico News Daily